Accepts entries starting
Entry Deadline February 15, 2015
Decision Date
Ceremony Date
Entry Fee (See Details)
Monetary or Material Award (See Details)

About the Award

The UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize, created in 1997, each year honors a person, organization or institution that has made an outstanding contribution to the defense and/or promotion of press freedom anywhere in the world, and especially when this has been achieved in the face of danger.

Notable Winners

Reeyot Alemu
Imprisoned Ethiopian journalist Reeyot Alemu has been named the winner of the 2013 UNESCO-Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. Ms. Alemu was recommended by an independent international jury of media professionals in recognition of her “exceptional courage, resistance and commitment to freedom of expression.”

Eynulla Fatullayev
Eynulla Fatullayev, an Azerbaijani journalist and human rights activist, has been named the winner of the 2012 UNESCO/Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize by UNESCO’s Director-General, Irina Bokova. He was nominated for the award by an independent international jury.

Ahmad Zeidabadi
Imprisoned Iranian journalist Ahmad Zeidabadi is the laureate of this year’s UNESCO Guillermo Cano World Press Freedom Prize. He was selected by an independent international jury of 12 media professionals.


The Jury shall consist of two independent members from each of the six regions as defined by UNESCO, in other words 12 persons appointed in their individual capacity by the Director-General of UNESCO for a period of three years, renewable once.

Representatives and alternates of Members of the Executive Board may not be appointed as jurors. Jurors involved in a real or potential conflict of interest shall recuse themselves from further deliberations or be requested by the Director-General to do so. The Director-General may replace members of the Jury on legitimate grounds.

The Director-General shall appoint the President of the Jury. Members shall receive no remuneration for their work, but will receive allowances for travel and accommodation, where required. A quorum of eight present will be required for jury deliberations to proceed. The working languages for the Jury’s deliberations shall be English and French.

An ad hoc working group of three Jury members shall make a pre-selection to reduce the number of candidates to no more than twelve, if necessary. The working group should give priority to the candidates most frequently nominated. Any dispute over the pre-selection shall be settled by a simple majority vote of the members of the Jury present and voting, which may amend the final list of candidates accordingly.

The Jury shall conduct its business and deliberations in conformity with these Statutes and shall be assisted by a member of the UNESCO Secretariat designated by the Director-General. Decisions shall be taken by consensus to the possible extent, and otherwise by secret ballot until a simple majority is obtained.

The Jury shall deliberate every year by electronic means.

The Jury shall recommend only one prize winner to the Director-General of UNESCO.

Monetary/Material Award Details

The Prize shall be funded by the Cano Foundation and other donors* and shall consist of recurrent payments of US $5,000, US $20,000 and US $20,000 respectively, to be deposited in a special account opened for that purpose in accordance with the Financial Regulations of UNESCO, which may also receive voluntary contributions from public or private institutions, associations, foundations, corporate entities or persons. The value of the Prize shall be determined by the Director-General in consultation with the donors on the basis of the contributions received, the interest on the sum deposited in the special account in accordance with the Financial Regulations of UNESCO, and the charges to be borne by the account for the cost of administering the Prize.

The prize also consists of a certificate and an object symbolizing the award and granted to the prize winner.

Eligibility Requirements

Candidates shall have made a significant contribution to press freedom anywhere in the world.

Prizes may be conferred upon individuals, institutions, other entities or non-governmental organizations.

Entry Fee Details

Required Material

Each nomination shall be accompanied by a written recommendation, which shall include, in English or French, inter alia:

(a) a description of the candidate’s background and achievements;

(b) the candidate’s contributions of major importance to the promotion of freedom of the press, submitted to the Jury for consideration;

(c) a definition of the candidate’s contribution to the Prize’s objectives.

Entry Format

Nominations shall be submitted to the Director-General by the governments of Member States, in consultation with their National Commissions, and by international and regional professional and non-governmental organizations active in the field of journalism and freedom of expression. A self-nomination cannot be considered.

Contact Information

Chief of Section
Communication and Information Sector (CI)
Mail: s.coudray(at)
Tel: 33-1 45 68 42 12
Fax: 33-1 45 68 55 84

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